Mark's Top 50 Games (as of February 2020)

Collection by Mark Jackson

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Mark Jackson
  Alien Artifacts, First Game, Amazing Adventures, The Gathering, The Expanse, February, Racing, My Favorite Things, Games

#2: Race for the Galaxy (Mark's Top 50 - 2020)

Race for the Galaxy BoardGameGeek rank: 50 rating: 7.76 Print Status in print Why It's On The List After you climb the iconography mountain to figure out the game, Race for the Galaxy is an amazing adventure in hand management & reading your opponents' mind - made even better by clever card design & interaction as well as great sci-fi art. Tips & Tricks: Learning Race for the Galaxy can be a bit of a chore - of course, since I've ranked it #2 on my list, you know I think it's worth it - but…

  Color Games, Don't Give Up, Good Job, Memoirs, February, Top, Color Puns, Crop Shirt, Shirts

#1: Memoir '44 (Mark's Top 50 - 2020)

Memoir '44 BoardGameGeek rank: 106 rating: 7.5 Print Status in print Why It's On The List The best (and best supported!) of the Command & Colors games... it combines a wonderous toy factor (plastic army men & tanks!) along with remarkably evocative recreations of WW2 battles. This is the perfect collision of all the eras of my gaming life: it's got enough warfare &; tactics for the chit-pusher in me, the gorgeous plastic bits remind me of the day we cracked open Axis & Allies for the first…

  Building Games, Online Games, The Expanse, More Fun, February, Culture, Top, Crop Shirt, Shirts

#3: Clash of Cultures (Mark's Top 50 - 2020)

Clash of Cultures BoardGameGeek rank: 254 rating: 7.64 Print Status out of print (but about to be reprinted with the nearly impossible to find expansion) Why It's On The List My favorite civilization-building game... the free-wheeling tech-tree and relatively simple mechanics make for an excellent play experience with 2, 3 or 4 players. Tips & Tricks: I've been involved in an online game of the Tresham version of Civilization... and it makes me like Clash of Cultures even more. The tech tree…

  Game Mechanics, The Big Boss, Man Games, Clash Of Clans, Game Design, The Expanse, Of My Life, Board Games, February

#4: Zooloretto (Mark's Top 50 - 2020)

Zooloretto BoardGameGeek rank: 691 rating: 6.85 Print Status in print (again... thanks to Z-Man Games) Why It's On The List Michael Schacht takes the central game mechanic from his card game Coloretto & develops it into a full-fledged board game with delightful artwork & theme. And then, if that wasn't enough, he keeps expanding that world (thanks to the SdJ win) in some very intriguing ways. Tips & Tricks: I didn't like Zooloretto particularly the first time I played it... that, as you can…

  Down The River, Through Time And Space, Braveheart, Marvel Vs, The Expanse, Over The Years, Board Games, February, Two By Two

#5: Heroscape (Mark's Top 50 - 2020)

Heroscape BoardGameGeek rank: 310 rating: 7.43 Print Status out of print... which is so very, very sad Why It's On The List Heroscape is the ultimate blending of board game & miniatures game... and, in a slick move that allowed them to make lots of cool figures, a great blending of genres, as all the characters are warriors sucked through time & space into the world of Heroscape. So, you've got Matrix guys & Braveheart & dragons & robots & kung fu monks & gorillas with guns... yep, it's the…

  Pretty Cool, The Expanse, February, Cool Stuff, Games, Top, Gaming, Plays, Crop Shirt

#6: 7 Wonders (Mark's Top 50 - 2020)

7 Wonders BoardGameGeek rank: 49 rating: 7.77 Print Status in print Why It's On The List Card drafting meets civilization building... and it's playable with 3-7 players in a pretty consistent 45 minutes. No "wonder" it got all those awards... Tips & Tricks: I'm a big enough fan to picked up all of the available expansions - Leaders, Cities, Wonder Pack, Babel, Anniversary Leader & Cities cards, the Catan wonder, and Armada. And with experienced players, I like playing with all of them…

  100 Games, Best Games, Avalon Hill, Best Yet, Mini One, Mind Games, Strategy Games, World History, The 100

#7: A Brief History of the World (Mark's Top 50 - 2020)

A Brief History of the World BoardGameGeek rank: 1989 rating: 6.94 Print Status out of print Why It's On The List It's all about the epic sweep of history - and this particular version of a game system originally published in 1991(!) is the best yet. It's tighter, smarter, and faster than any previous edition - playing time is about 3 hours for six players to experience this dudes/empires on a map masterpiece. Tips & Tricks: I first played the Ragnor Brothers' History of the World in the…

  Noodles To Go, Fast Food Franchise, Fast Food Workers, Mind Games, First Game, Game Design, The 100, February, 100 Games

#8: Fast Food Franchise (Mark's Top 50 - 2020)

Fast Food Franchise BoardGameGeek rank: 4861 rating: 6.35 Print Status really out of print Why It's On The List Imagine if the designer of Race for the Galaxy decided to take making a roll'n'move that both gamers & non-gamers could love... that combined some very Monopoly-ish elements with tactical board play. And then you can wake up & play it, because this is actually Tom Lehmann's first game design! Tips & Tricks: Despite initial appearances, all of the companies are viable options for…

  Ticket To Ride, Classic Theme, The Expanse, February, Games, Top, Gaming, Plays, Crop Shirt

#9: Ticket to Ride (Mark's Top 50 - 2020)

Ticket to Ride BoardGameGeek rank: 156 rating: 7.44 Print Status in print Why It's On The List Gorgeous production coupled with easy gameplay... a classic theme (trains!) coupled with a classic Rummy set-collection mechanic... just as playable with 2 as it is with 5. Tips & Tricks: Playing with 3 or 5 players is MUCH more cutthroat than playing with 2 or 4, due to how crowded the board can become. There are a number of expansions & stand-alone versions of the game. I'm partial to the 1910…

  February, My Favorite Things, Games, Top, Gaming, Plays, Crop Shirt, Game, Toys

#10: Can't Stop (Mark's Top 50 - 2020)

Can't Stop BoardGameGeek rank: 690 rating: 6.86 Print Status in print? Why It's On The List In my ever-so-humble opinion, this (and not Acquire) is Sid Sackson's masterpiece. It's so simple & yet so engaging. Tips & Tricks: One of the niftier variants to try is "one piece per space" - in other words, you can't stop rolling if you would have to place a marker on an already occupied space. Dan Blum once suggested that there are two basic ways to play Can't Stop based on Star Trek: you can play…

  Settlers Of Catan, The Settlers, 100 Games, Threes Game, Mind Games, Board Games, Cool Designs, February, Game Pics

#11: Anno 1701: Das Brettspiel (Mark's Top 50 - 2020)

Anno 1701: Das Brettspiel BoardGameGeek rank: 4267 rating: 6.74 Print Status out of print Why It's On The List While I didn't like Klaus Teuber's attempt to make Anno 1503 deeper via an expansion - I thought it was bloated & made the game much too long - I think his 2nd attempt at a similar game was very, very successful. And that's Anno 1701, which feels like a cross between The Settlers of Catan & Anno 1503. Tips & Tricks: There are lots of options to harvest victory points (which can win…

  Game Happy, I Was Wrong, February, Lord, Games, Gaming, Plays, Game, Toys

#12: Dungeon Lords (Mark's Top 50 - 2020)

Dungeon Lords BoardGameGeek rank: 221 rating: 7.41 Print Status in print Why It's On The List Flip your standard adventurers v. monsters around and put players in the role of harried dungeon masters trying to fend off sticky-fingered heroes. Add loads of RPG and WoW-related humor... and tie it together with an almost perfect melding of mechanic and theme. Tips & Tricks: My original impression of Dungeon Lords is that it only worked with a full complement of four players. I'm happy to say…

  100 Games, Mind Games, Fascinator, Board Games, The 100, February, Africa, Top, Headdress

#13: Africa (Mark's Top 50 - 2020)

Africa BoardGameGeek rank: 2584 rating: 5.98 Print Status out of print Why It's On The List A great Knizia exploration game that was sadly under-rated when it first appeared in 2002 because it wasn't the next Euphrat & Tigris. Tips & Tricks: As much as possible, don't waste moves. You can work to set up plays so that you can make sure that each turn has two productive activities. Use the "skip a turn, move anywhere" power sparingly. Relocating nomads can be very lucrative point-wise…

  First Game, Knock Knock, The Expanse, February, Product Launch, Games, Top, Gaming, Plays

#14: Catan (Mark's Top 50 - 2020)

Catan BoardGameGeek rank: 353 rating: 7.17 Print Status in print Why It's On The List The game that launched the European "game" invasion... the first true "franchise" game for Kosmos & Mayfair... a game so simple & yet so innovative that it could inspire devoted play with almost any crowd. This infinitely variable game of trading & building is still a personal favorite, even when way too many gamers have left it behind. Tips & Tricks: There are lots of strategy guides out there - the best…

  100 Games, More Games, Best Games, The Expanse, Fresco, Paint Colors, February, Top, Board

#15: Fresco (Mark's Top 50 - 2020)

Fresco BoardGameGeek rank: 286 rating: 7.30 Print Status in print Why It's On The List Fresco is a lovely worker-placement game that has three endearing qualities: first, it has an interesting theme; second, pretty much every mechanic in the game can be explained in terms of that theme... and finally, it does not seem to ever bog down with AP (analysis paralysis) like some other worker-placement games. Tips & Tricks: You can play Fresco as a "sandbox" game (where you don't pay much attention…

  Baseball Games, Building A Deck, February, Top, Crop Shirt, Shirts

#16: Baseball Highlights 2045 (Mark's Top 50 - 2020)

Baseball Highlights 2045 BoardGameGeek rank: 421 rating: 7.75 Print Status in print Why It's On The List The name implies the genius of the design - with a six card hand, you aren't simulating a whole baseball game... you're just showing us the highlights. Set in a future timestream where robots are batters and pitchers have cybernetic arms, this wonderful game melds deck-building with hand management in clever and interesting ways. Tips & Tricks: Drafting well is key... and part of that key…